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Weight Loss Miracle Food

It is with great enthusiasm that I tell my clients, friends, relatives, and total strangers that yes, there is a miracle weight loss food: Soup. Whether you’re a soup fan or not, please read this article. I rarely call anything a miracle.

Recent weight loss research has shown that soup truly is one of the best all around weight loss foods. There are several reasons for this:


  1. Ounce for ounce, soup is more filling. In a fascinating study done at Pennsylvania State University, weight loss researchers assessed how water intake during meals affected the total amount of calories consumed. Three groups of people were given the same meal served in three different ways. Meal 1 was a chicken casserole. Meal 2 was a chicken casserole with a glass of water. Meal 3 was a chicken casserole soup made by mixing the glass of water into the casserole and heating to the warmth of soup. Each group was instructed to eat until full. The soup eaters ate far fewer calories than those in the other two groups.
  2. Foods with aroma are more satisfying. The more satisfying a meal, the less likely one is to pine for a sweet treat or go back for seconds or suffer food cravings an hour or so later. Hot foods, like soup, are more aromatic than cold or room temperature food. The steam that rises off a bowl of soup carries more flavor to the senses than the mere heat rising off a freshly broiled marinated chicken breast.
  3. Soup digests more efficiently in your belly. Chicken and vegetables cooked in water are broken down considerably by the heat. While this doesn’t pre-digest the food, it softens the food, which can be more thoroughly chewed. Better chewing = better digestion = better absorption of nutrients and better elimination of what’s left over. Good digestion is a powerful contributor to weight loss.

The Good, the Bad, and the Creamy

I’m not one who sees the world in black and white, although when it comes to soup, there are good soups and there are bad soups. You need to know the difference.

Bad Soup. Bad soup is commercially canned soup and most soups you find at national chain restaurants. Avoid both. They likely contain high fructose corn syrup, which puts fat on a body like no other food additive I know of. The other category of bad soup is creamy soups, although there are some ways you can enjoy a creamy soup experience without the added fat. (read on)

Good Soup. The best good soup is soup you make at home, which is not as impossible as it may sound. You can cook a big pot of chicken soup and freeze meal-size portions for later use. My favorite way of making soup at home is to throw a bunch of leftovers in a pot (include a low-fat meat and veggies and some chunks of sweet potato), add water and spices, and simmer. I always cook extra food when I cook so I have leftovers for soup.

Creamy Soup. If you want a creamy soup, scoop some of the soup ingredients and broth, blend in a blender, and add back to the soup. Pureed silk tofu also makes a great cream substitute for soups. Good soup can be found at some health food restaurants. Always ask if there’s high fructose corn syrup in the soup before you order it.

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